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The Bell V-280 Valor recently completed flight demonstrations of its low-speed agility key performance parameter (KPP) in the U.S. Army-led Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) program, ahead of schedule.
The V-280 Valor has now demonstrated in flight testing that it has the raw control power in pitch, roll, and yaw maneuvers to meet the Army’s Level 1 Handling Qualities requirements, which is the highest performance standard for agility. This flight testing validates Bell’s engineering models and development processes to design, build, and test an air vehicle on an aggressive aircraft development schedule that meets Army performance requirements and delivers revolutionary capabilities to warfighters.
“This latest flight milestone proves that the V-280 Valor tiltrotor delivers first-rate handling for pilots during low-speed maneuvers without sacrificing speed, range or payload that the military needs for multi-domain operations,” said Ryan Ehinger, V-280 program manager at Bell. “Bell and Team Valor continue to prove that the Army-led JMR TD program has been successful in rapidly maturing new technologies to support accelerated acquisition of the FLRAA.”
For pilots, this achievement provides additional proof that the V-280 will have unprecedented agility on the objective (at the “X”) for operational effectiveness. The aircraft’s digital flight controls and performance-driven design increase mission effectiveness by providing a high level of agility, reducing pilot workload, and enhancing flight safety on the objective in all weather conditions and degraded visual environments.
As the JMR TD period of performance winds down, Bell and Team Valor continue to expand the flight envelope and demonstrate new capabilities to prove out the V-280 Valor’s key technologies and reduce the risk for Future Vertical Lift programs.
The latest flight statistics include:
- Forward flight over 300 knots true airspeed;
- Over 110 hours of flight and more than 225 rotor turn hours;
- >50-degree banked turns;
- 4,500 feet per minute rate of climb and sustained flight at 11,500 feet altitude;
- Single flight ferry of over 370 miles;
- Demonstrated Level 1 low-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls; and
- In-flight transitions between cruise mode and vertical takeoff and landing.